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Alum Shares Knowledge on IP Investment Field

November 29, 2011

Ron Laurie ’68 participated in the Nov. 9 event “Got Patents? The Strategic Use of Patents to Increase Market Share,” moderated by Professor David Franklyn. Laurie is managing director of Inflexion Point Strategy LLC, an intellectual property investment bank, and a former IP lawyer.

Ron Laurie ’68 (left) and Professor David Franklyn discuss the intellectual property investment field.

At Inflexion Point Strategy LLC, Laurie represents technology companies in the acquisition and sale of patent portfolios. Establishing patent portfolios can help protect companies against litigation and provide freedom to operate in new technology and markets. Patent purchases also may be defensive by preventing competitors from obtaining patents that are in demand, he said.

Laurie discussed utilizing exclusive field of use licenses for companies looking to monetize their IP assets across a broad range of industries. Rather than selling the patents to an individual company, exclusive use of the technology may be sold to multiple parties that do business within different vertical markets.

"You essentially select a major player in each vertical—verticals like telecom, automotive, medical, internet, mobile devices, as many applications as you can identify that can use this IP and technology," he said.

He also spoke on the importance of determining the value of patents within his field.

"The secret of success for doing business in this market is being able to tell as quickly as you can which are the good patents and which are not the good patents," Laurie said. "It is very easy to waste months of your time preparing a portfolio for sale that turns out to not be worth anything."

Before co-founding Inflexion Point Strategy LLC in 2004, Laurie was a founding partner at several Silicon Valley law firms, including the Palo Alto office of Skadden Arps, where he chaired the firm's IP strategy and transactions group for six years. He worked at Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP, which merged with Kilpatrick Stockton LLP in 2011, for 18 years.